Use force...and some jutsu moves!
No, I will not talk about balance the way Jedi Masters tell their pupils how to balance their power to perform "the force", or the way Jiraiya-sensei tells Naruto how to blend and maintain balance with nature in order to have a full control of his nine-tailed fox's chakra.
Rather, I’d like to let others know my version of the proper life-work balance (I am not using the term ‘work-life’ balance because life only happens once, that’s why I give priority to ‘life’).
For workaholics (like you…yes, you who are reading this blog piece, ha ha, just kidding), I think you can add “life-work balance” to the Eight Wonders of the World. The heavy workload we have to deal with every day makes it seem is so hard for some people to find a way of balancing their work routine with daily life routine. I’m not saying you cannot do it, no. It’s just a bit hard for some people who haven’t figured it out.
Technology makes workers accessible round the clock. Yeah, you may say that easy access to email through any platform, information that you can easily get anywhere and anytime (making remote working inevitable), leaves us feeling frightened that we may lose our job if we don’t do what we are told to. Crazy, right?
Experts agree that the compounding stress from a never-ending workday is damaging, can hurt relationship (aw!), health (*sneezes*) and overall happiness (*sob*). I believe that life-work balance has different meaning to different individuals. That said, let’s see what we can do about it!
1. Perfection is superb, but not everything
We may get a lot of “Mind the tenses while writing! Re-visit your checklist! Quadruple check your email!” day in day out. It’s because a good job is a good job when you do it right, in a timely and perfect manner.
Some ambitious achievers create that tendency for perfection from a very young age, since the demands of their time are limited to school and leisure activity. It was easier to manage 10-20 years ago because as we get older, life sometimes gets more complicated as our responsibilities grow.
Revisit your “how-to-do” standard operational procedure (SOP). If it says that you have to do your job perfectly, let’s revise it a bit and change it into excellence. Let’s just say that a healthier option is to strive for excellence, not for perfection.
2. Doing what you like to find peace
We are organic matters on this planet. And, yes, organically we also make time for routine activities such as eating, drinking, peeing, sleeping, breathing, socializing, doing our hobbies, etc. Sometimes, people with heavy things-to-do lists are more likely to forget to spare time for this: exercise (and maybe…meditate).
Exercise is an effective way to reduce stress and help rejuvenate your body. Regular exercise releases endorphins that can help lift your mood. You can have a quick walk of 100-200 steps every day, a one-two punch, or find a quiet room to sit down, relax and meditate a bit. Believe me, it helps me through rough days.
3. Un-plug, enjoy your social life
Some of us believe that family is everything, friends are everything, and so on, but some can’t deny that they haven’t made enough effort to create a balanced relationship with people who love us.
A work day never seems to end! There are also moments or times when anyone can find you, and ask you for just about anything, even on a day-off or on a weekend when your phone and email are supposed to be off. Some experts said that phone notifications interrupt your off time and disrupt your inner peace. Learn how to enjoy your moment, live a colorful life, and also leave a bit of your work for the sake of family time.
That’s what I have in mind about how to be a bit strict when it comes to your life’s quality. That doesn’t mean you have to go easy on your job, only for you to find your YOLO moment so you can bring a good quality phase of life and work.
(The writer is a bit struggling to create a life-work balance… but he keeps trying and trying. Like Jason Mraz said, “I won’t give up”.)